Happy Friday Sunnyside!
This weekend, Memorial Day, is a time that is supposed to be etched in our memories. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is to be a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).
Where did the red poppies come from? In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.
Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. So for us, what does this day mean? Those who have gone before us are worthy of remembrance!
Tomorrow is really Memorial Day at Sunnyside. The sermon is entitled, “Revelation’s Memorials”. It is a message that has excited me as I prepared it. I must digress for a moment and tell you how I count it a privilege to be your senior pastor and work on the Sabbath messages. The study time feeds me like nothing else can. As I see the scriptures come together and to witness the richness of the word of God, I get excited to be able to share the fruits with you on Sabbath. This week will be another such experience. We will unlock some passages of scripture that you might have long wondered about.
However, even if you don’t come to hear me preach, come to hear the music. It will be awesome. You might want to be there for both services since the music will vary from first to second.
I do want to add just a word about Encounters this Sabbath. While I fear of ever encouraging one week’s sharing time for fear of making another one sound less important, I do want to encourage you to hear Dianne Glovatsky’s sharing time. I personally know her story. You will be blessed should you be able to be there.
Courage in the Lord,
Pastor Scott LeMert
Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church